Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's

image found on google

I hope you all have a fabulous New Year's Eve & a HAPPY New Year this weekend!

I wanted to take a moment and say THANK YOU to everyone who's been apart of Mundie Kids this year. It's been such a fabulous year and I'm truly grateful to have worked with some fabulous authors and publishers. I've really enjoyed being able to feature the large variety of children's and tweens books this year on the blog. Though the holidays, Mundie Moms and just life in general kept me away from the blog for most of the month, I do have a lot of great reviews already lined up for January. I'm looking forward to all the upcoming releases in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 Favorite Middle Grade Reads for 2011

For the past two weeks over on Mundie Moms I've been featuring a variety of favorite books that we've read this past year. It's been a lot of fun talking about all the fabulous books that have been released over the course of this past year. Today's feature is my Top 11 Favorite MG Reads from 2011.

There has been a number of amazing middle grade as well as children book releases this year, and only a fraction of those have been featured here on Mundie Kids. Here are my top 11 favorite Middle Grade Reads from 2011:
  1. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
  2. Wildwood by Colin Meloy
  3. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
  4. The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
  5. Liesel & Po by Lauren Oliver
  6. The Secret War by Matt Myklusch
  7. The Familiars, Secrets of the Crown by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrea Jacobson
  8. Nicholas ST. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce & Laure Geringer
  9. Kat the Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
  10. A True Princess by Diane Zahler
  11. Vordak The Incomprehensible Rule the School
Other favorites:

I'd love to know what some of your favorites are. If you haven't already, I highly recommend picking up these fabulous Middle Grade reads.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We want to take a moment and wish you all a wonderful Christmas & Holiday season. Thank you so much for being apart of Mundie Kids. We're looking forward to the upcoming new year and sharing many more book reviews with each of you. We wish you all the joy and happiness of this time of year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's WINTER & Book Review: Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara

It's officially the 1st day of Winter! I love this time of year. It's not only the time of year to celebrate the joy of Christmas and the holiday season, but the time of year when the nights are longer, and the days are colder which makes it perfect reading weather!! I love reading weather. Despite the fact I've slacked off a bit on Mundie Kids, it's been crazy busy on Mundie Moms. Luckily this next week or so will be a time for me to catch up on here. There's some fabulous children's books I'll be sharing with you guys and I'll also be listing my favorite books of 2011 as well.

Speaking of books, I've got a children's book I want to share with you:

By & Illustrated by: Kazuno Kohara
1st Released on: October 27th, 2009 by Scholastic/Roaring Brook Press
Re-released on: October 25th, 2011 by Square Fish for Scholastic book fair
Source: Bought via Scholastic Book Fair
Ages: 5 & up
4 stars: We Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

One cold morning a lonely boy wishes for something to do. His animal friends are hibernating, and he has nobody to play with-even all the birds have flown south. When he meets Jack Frost, the last thing he expects is to make a new friend... or to discover how enchanting winter can be! -quoted from Goodreads

Celebrate the first day of Winter by reading this delightful story about Jack Frost. What little kid wouldn't want to spend the winter playing with Jack Frost, skating on the ice, building snowmen and having snowball fights? That would have been a dream come true for my son. The little boy in this story really lucks out when he meets Jack Frost and is able to do all that with them. That is until Spring makes her first appearance. Once that happens, Jack Frost has to leave until next year.

I love the simple illustrations and the way the blue & white colors brought the story to life. It provided a really inviting winter feel to it. The writing itself is very easy and I think those who are past beginner reader books will be able to sit and read this story by themselves. This is a book I'd recommend picking up. It's one that caught my eye at my son's most recent Scholastic Book Fair, and we've already enjoyed reading it a few times since bringing it home.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Tour: Author Interview with Ryan Jacobson

I'm thrilled to have author Ryan Jacobson on Mundie Kids today! Recently I had the chance to reviewe his newest release, Sir Author Conan Doyles Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. You can read my glowing review here.

He's the world's most famous detective, and thanks to this brilliantly adapted book, he's you! The cases, the clues, the suspects, they're yours to sort through in this exciting Choose Your Path book. You are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. You make the choices. But be careful; the wrong decision could lead to your doom. -quoted from Goodreads

Hi Ryan! Thank you so much for stopping by Mundie Kids today. If you were a character in your book Can You Survive: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, what is one thing you'd want to have with you in order to survive your adventure?

I’d want a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Since the stories are
adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original book, I’d read it and always
know just what to do.

What's one of your favorite Sherlock Holmes adventures?

I have a special place in my heart for The Hound of the Baskervilles. It’s both a
mystery and a scary story at the same time. Plus, when I was in high school, our
theater department performed it as a play. I remember getting a real kick out of
hearing my classmates talk with British accents.

I loved reading choose your own adventure stories when I was in middle school. What
inspired you to write a choose your own adventure story for Sherlock Holmes?

This is my fourth Choose Your Path book, and I chose Sherlock Holmes for this
one because I found out I could. I love, love, love Sherlock Holmes stories! When
I learned that other writers were allowed to use his character and his old stories, I
jumped at the chance. I couldn’t wait to get this book written and share it with the

What was one of your favorite children's books to growing up?

I actually didn’t read many books as a child. Mostly, I read comic books and
Sports Illustrated. My very favorite was a graphic novel called Batman vs. The
Incredible Hulk (DC Special Series #27). I read it so many times that it fell apart.
My mom had to buy me a second copy.

Do you have any other books in the works you can tell us about?

I usually have four or five projects going at once (I like to jump back and forth
between them), but I just finished three Choose Your Path books: Sherlock
Holmes, Call of the Wild and Storm at the Summit of Mount Everest. So my
workload is lighter than normal. My five-year-old son loves Indiana Jones, so I’m
writing a book called Kruse Jasper and the Legend of the Dreamcatcher. I’m also
doing a Choose Your Path adaptation of Dracula. After that, I keep telling my
wife that I’m going to take a break from writing. Maybe I actually will. But there
is a comic book series I’d like to tackle…


Thank you Ryan for stopping by Mundie Kids today! We're looking forward to reading more of your upcoming releases.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Blog Tour here

Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to visit Ryan on his Website, follow him on Twitter & like him on Facebook

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Review/Blog Tour: Sir Arthur Conan Doyles' Adventures of Sherlock Holmes By Ryan Jacobson

Published by: Lake 7 Creative
Released on: November 1st, 2011
Source: book from author to review for blog tour
Ages: 8 & up
4 stars: I enjoyed it
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

He's the world's most famous detective, and thanks to this brilliantly adapted book, he's you! The cases, the clues, the suspects, they're yours to sort through in this exciting Choose Your Path book. You are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. You make the choices. But be careful; the wrong decision could lead to your doom. -quoted from Goodreads

I've been a fan of choose your own adventures books since I started reading them back in 5th grade. I'll admit, it's been years since I've read one, but reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, reminded me of how much fun these books are. They're exciting, action filled reads and completely engaging, as readers get to choose what "they would do next" as they act as though they're the main character.

The exciting thing about this choose your own adventure is the fact the reader becomes Sherlock Holmes. How much more exciting can that be. I've always been fascinated by clue solving Sherlock Holmes, and I really enjoyed getting to become him in this story. It was a lot of fun to make the decisions I thought he should make. Sometimes that lead me to disastrous paths and other times I succeeded and lasted longer than I thought I could in this book. I swear I was like a pre-teen again in reading this adventure book.

This is a great story for young readers and especially reluctant readers, as it invites them to be apart of the story. There's plenty of mystery, clues and twists to keep young readers invested in this story. You don't necessarily need to be a huge Sherlock Holmes fan to enjoy this read. The adventure and mystery that unravel as readers choose their own path are what fans will enjoy the most. I'm excited to see a new Choose Your Own Adventure Book and I really think readers 8 yrs old and older will enjoy jumping into this fun adventure. This is one book I'd recommend picking up!

Be sure to check out the rest of the Blog Tour here, and visit us on the 16th when we have author Ryan Jacobson on for an interview.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Review: Nicholas St. North And The Battle of the Nightmare King (The Guardians Book 1) by WIlliam Joyce & Laura Geringer

By: William Joyce & Laura Geringer
Published by: Simon & Schuster Kids
Released on: October 4th, 2011
Source: book from publisher to review
Ages: 8 & up
5 stars: This is a MUST HAVE MG!

Before SANTA was SANTA, he was North, Nicholas St. North—a daredevil swordsman whose prowess with double scimitars was legendary. Like any swashbuckling young warrior, North seeks treasure and adventure, leading him to the fiercely guarded village of Santoff Claussen, said to be home to the greatest treasure in all the East, and to an even greater wizard, Ombric Shalazar. But when North arrives, legends of riches have given way to terrors of epic proportions! North must decide whether to seek his fortune…or save the village.

When our rebellious hero gets sucked into the chaos (literally), the fight becomes very personal. The Nightmare King and his evil Fearlings are ruling the night, owning the shadows, and sending waves of fear through all of Santoff Clausen. For North, this is a battle worth fighting...and, he’s not alone. There are five other Guardians out there. He only has to find them in time. -quoted from Goodreads

I reviewed this book yesterday on Mundie Moms, but it's such a fabulous book for readers 8 and up, that I felt the need to share my review here on Mundie Kids. You can also enter to win a copy of the book on Mundie Moms, here.

Nicholas St. North and The Battle of the Nightmare King is an enchanting story with a rich mythology and is set in a world that's full of legend, adventure and action. This is a story that will appeal to adult readers and engage young readers as they meet mythological creatures, learn about ancient legends and experience the magic of Nicholas St. North's story. This fascinating world will allow young reader's imaginations to run wild as they are introduced to old world forklore that has a bit of Russian tradition mixed into it.

This is a book I think that will be most appealing to younger readers. It's an exciting read, with beautiful illustrations, and has a bit of a old fashion feel to it. William Joyce and Laura Geringer's writing is fabulous. It's easy to read and has a poetic feel to it. I didn't need to feel a connection to their characters to fall in love with this story. Their writing and world building are what made this book for me. To put it simply, I was captivated by the book. I swear I turned into a little kid again, as the excitement of this story came to life for me.

The only compliant I have, and this is the adult reader side of me saying this, I didn't like that it took so long to introduce the the heroine of the story. Had I been a preteen reading this, it wouldn't have bothered me at all. It's still a 5 star book for me, as this is one MG book I'd highly recommend picking up for Christmas/the holiday season. It's such a fun, action packed, quick read that even a reluctant reader will enjoy it. I'd be surprised if this book wasn't made into a movie. I'm definitely looking forward to more of William Joyce's MG/YA books.

Be sure to visit The Guardians of Childhood website to learn more this book and the next 5 books that will follow it. I'm looking forward to reading this series! You can read an excerpt here
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~